At all my sits the owner’s have gone above and beyond to provide a clean.and comfortable experience. I’ve had only positive experiences .
As others mentioned, providing clean bedding/towels and even basic toiletries should be common knowledge. Not something that needs to be requested. I always try to leave all the essentials you would have in a hotel +more, and treat my sitters as I would like to be treated if I was in their place. And of course I would expect that same level of respect back for my home. This is an exchange of service.
When I first joined THS the no camera policy wasn’t part of the T & C at the time, and even then, I would respect my sitter’s privacy and only asked my first sitter to set it up if she was going to be gone and away from my dog (who was a 6 month old puppy at the time) and gave her full access to the app so she could monitor him (not me).
Since then we’ve always put it away in one of the drawers and turn it off, since he’s fully potty trained and we know he’s okay being alone for a max x number of hrs.
One sitter who was aware we had a camera as we were putting away when she arrived, decided to set it up one night, text us to let us know she was going to party (we were already asleep) and left our dog alone overnight, but that’s a whole different crazy story.
We have a ring camera outside that notifies me when there is someone walking in front of our steps/doors late at night because we’ve had packages and things stolen before, and this is Chicago. We also have a smart lock which records the history in the app (notifications are only on past midnight when we’re home), but these are things we’ve made our sitters aware of in the initial meet and greet video calls. The ring camera out front notifying me late at night its how I’ve found out that a couple of times we’ve been lied to and our dog has been left alone for a long time -afternoon/night (more than the time we listed in our profile and welcome guide and agreed to)… OR they’re walking my dog in the middle of the night because they were gone all day, which is not safe for them or my dog. So while I don’t want sitters to think they’re being monitored, I also hope sitters here understand that trust can be hard for people who have been let down by other sitters before. I try my best to give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they disappoint me (even then I question whether I may be overreacting). I believe from my first few experiences and some of the members I’ve interacted with in this forum that the majority of sitters will not disappoint and the well being of the pets is the highest priority.
I think it’s safe to ask the HO of any cameras and if you find out they’re lying and have an indoor camera on, you should notify member services. Oh and by the way most indoor/outdoor cameras will have a red/green/white light on when they’re recording… just something to keep an eye out on.
For a coming sit, the HO asked whether I’d be OK with video streaming their cat sometimes. I’m totally cool with that, as long as they show me how to work the camera.
Personally, I think watching my dog while I’m on vacation would be super boring, LOL.
@wendy_chicago Wow, wow, wow! Sitters coming and going at all hours, leaving your dog alone for many hours, and walking your dog in the middle of the night! If walls could talk…that would certainly break the trust for me too.
Who would do that? If that happened to me, I would stick with older Sitters and mature couples.
@PVGemini Yeah the overnight party girl was young but it was a couple in their mid/late 30s who were coming in and out and walking my dog late at night. My dog was fine, he was in his home taking naps, but his routine was messed with so he was waking up super early or acting restless at night.
Both times I think I could have done a better job vetting sitters. The first one the dates were not posted early enough because it was a last minute planned trip (we were getting sick of the winter and needed to get away) so I was nervous and confirmed even though I had my doubts, and the second I was sold on the fact that she volunteered at an animal shelter, so I trusted that she would prioritize my dog’s needs and routine. Previous times though, everyone was great but as we continue to say… the 5 application rule and new people joining for what they think is a free Airbnb is hurting the quality of the THS experience.
I see people walking their dogs at any hour. What is the problem?
It is not like they are little kids that many people think ought to be in bed at a certain hour.
60+ sits and only once was the house not as clean as I would have liked. And that was where I had to put the clean sheets on the bed as well.
A few sits where there were cameras which were disclosed. I generally cover them but once a camera and monitor was for the dog to see and be seen and that was okay with me so long as I knew where it was.
If their dog is on the same schedule as you and they’re in a safe town, I don’t see the problem.
If you decide to travel to a big city and want to run the risk of being shot by car shootings or mugged (and steal a little dog)… yeah, that’s a big problem. My neighborhood is fairly safe but once in a while we’ve heard these things happen.
People can walk their own dogs whenever they want to, however, when dog-sitting, I think they should walk the dog on their usual schedule (or as close as possible).
I don’t think it matters.
None of the dog owners that I sat for has communicated a definite schedule to me. Probably I am taking their dog out more than what it is used to.
It would never cross my mind to walk a dog in the middle of the night. Mostly because I am not usually awake then, haha.
I’ve never been out late at night while pet sitting, but if I did do that I’d walk the dog before I went out.
It is 23:15 now here in Groningen (The Netherlands) and we just returned from a walk through the park where the city ramparts once were. The weather is lukewarm, and there were still lots of people there in the dark: other dogwalkers, cyclists passing through, people sitting on benches or in the grass discussing life or playing music.
This dog (a border collie) is sweet with other people and other dogs, just greets them, sometimes spends some time with them, but mostly listens when I call him.
Next week there will be a culture festival there, with events until midnight.
This is a great side conversation and could be its own topic if anyone wants to start one. I don’t want to stop the flow, but just a reminder out of respect to the OP and those that have commented this thread is heading a little off-topic - ‘Requesting a clean home/bedding & privacy for a sit’.
My wife and I have only been doing this since April of this year. All bedding was clean, and all of our experiences were good. I will say that sitters should be given space in closets and bathrooms. We find situations where we think the home owner must think all sitters are teenagers with two tee shirts and one pair of jeans. And from the home owner side, I think sitters should leave all their soap opera drama behind, and deliver pet and house-focused results. It’s NOT a vacation. It’s a sit with responsibilities first. Then go tour about after things are taken care of first. Sorry for the sermon.